Gmail Started Supporting Responsive Email Designs – Boon or Bane in Email Marketing?

One of the major email marketing predictions of 2016 was Gmail would start offering support for responsive design in emails. Email marketers had long back anticipated this new Gmail update wherein it will start providing style support for its webmail clients and support for responsive design including CSS media query support. Gmail has recently released this update which will enable email service providers, email campaign designers and email marketers to improve better email marketing experience to their Gmail-based subscribers who are opening emails on both desktop and mobile devices. Prior to this, email marketers felt challenges with Gmail not providing any support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in sites, making many mails open in webmail with issues. Broken email was the most common issue they faced, nearly 20% of Gmail users would reject their emails or unsubscribe from the list when they failed to open emails properly. Lack of support for stylesheet on Gmail, Gmail on iOS platform and Android platform, Inbox mail client, and Inbox app on iOS and Android has created issues with CSS media queries. That’s why email designers had to rely on inline CSS methods – however, with this recent Gmail update release, the inline CSS can soon be history.

What does this Gmail update actually mean?

With this recent update, responsive email for Gmail and Inbox users will load on devices with the right formatting options as intended. Whether users are opening and viewing mails on computer or mobile devices, whether in portrait or landscape mode, the content will appear as formatted, fitted well to the resolution, size and rotation mode of the device. This opens the for for email marketers, giving them more opportunities to optimize and personalize email campaigns for targeted users. So, will this new Gmail update be all boon and no bane? Keep reading to learn more..

1. Should marketers continue relying upon hybrid email design?

Many marketers may still continue using traditional responsive design on CSS media queries. With this latest Gmail update, 75% of email subscribers will be able to open emails on email providers which are created in responsive design methods. However, if a major segmentation of subscribers is opening emails on other email providers such as, Outlook desktop apps, Yahoo! Mail mobile app, Microsoft Windows Phone, and Microsoft Surface devices which have not yet offered support for responsive design, then email marketers need to depend on both responsive design for Gmail and HTML inline CSS versions for these platforms and devices.

Email marketers using hybrid email design will need to make changes. Part of the hybrid code for Gmail can now be substituted with responsive code which can be added on top of the hybrid code for email clients which do not yet have support for CSS media queries.

2. Will email marketers still use inline CSS in emails?

Most marketers will not need inline CSS any longer because Gmail will remove <style> tag from the <head> tag area. With most subscribers opening emails on Gmail, marketers need to heavily rely upon inline styles. However, many marketers will need to continue with inline CSS style if a large chunk of their subscribers and prospects open emails in providers such as, Yandex, Mail.ru, Libero and other regional-specific email clients who do not offer support for CSS style. That’s why marketers and designers will need to integrate all their styles under the <head> tag section in order to avoid useless code in the body of the email, instead of replicating styles to all table rows and cells separately. Thus, the current Gmail update will make things more marketer and designer-friendly and faster to apply codes to emails. With lighter codes, email loading times and open rates of email marketing campaigns will improve.

In addition to ease of coding, Gmail will be able to address security concerns over emails with responsive designs as well as they can improve the interactive aspects of emails. Currently, Applecaptures 51% of the email provider market that offers the best options for adding interactivity to emails with support for many interactive elements.

Are you thinking of a good responsive design template for your Gmail subscribers? Contact us to get email template design solutions by calling us at (408) 502 6765 or by reaching us via our social channels – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

How to Survive the Mobilegeddon!

Marketers are constantly developing multi-channel marketing campaigns to reach their target customer. Generally, Marketers tend to focus majority of their attention on websites and include a mobile friendly website design as a beneficial addition. However, with more percentage of users on mobile than ever before and Google’s new mobile friendly algorithm, Marketers need to shift their attention to mobile.

In April, Google announced that mobile friendless will be used as a ranking signal which will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide. Many are deeming this algorithm update as a “Mobilegeddon” and wondering how this change will impact their business.

But no need to fret, we have all of the details you need to know to survive “Mobilegeddon” and what you need to do to save your website!

Below are some recommendations to ensure your website is mobile friendly:

  1. Avoid common mistakes such as unplayable videos, faulty redirects, blocked JavaScript, CSS, image files, irrelevant cross links, etc. These are often frustrating for visitors and provide a poor search experience.
  2. Use text and formatting that is resizable to the screen size without having to zoom.
  3. Include enough spacing between links so that visitors can easily tap the link.

Have you followed these guidelines and are now wondering if your website is mobile friendly? Take the mobile friendly test.

What configurations does Google recognize and recommend for building mobile sites?

  1. Responsive design is Google’s preferred method for web design. It renders the same HTML code and same URL’s for any device and resizes itself to fit the screen being used.
  2. Dynamic serving design delivers the same URL’s but different version of HTML code depending on device and browser.
  3. Separate URL’s deliver different URL’s and HTML code according tothe users device.

Responsive design is perfect for businesses that are looking to offer a consistent and holistic website experience to users on all devices: desktop, mobile, and tablets. If you are thinking ahead and want to cover your bases for any future updates, responsive web design is the best option.

Dynamic design is an ideal solution for companies that make frequent changes to their websites and adjust display for one device as needed.

Separate URLs are used by businesses who want to manage their mobile site independently. It can be a cost effective solution for small businesses with basic website needs.

ShowMeLeads offers a variety of responsive design and landing page services as well as custom design based on your business needs. Check out our library of responsive designs or ask us about creating your own custom template.

For more information on Google’s mobile search engine rankings or responsive web design contact us.